McMullen County’s Dustin Allen flies in for a layup in a 36-26 home win against Annapolis on Jan. 5, the Cowboys’ third straight win. While it was the ninth double-digit win of the season for McMullen County (12-7), it did not come easily.

Annapolis tied the Cowboys at two with 1:40 left in the first quarter before Colton McClartney and Logan Ridgeway made layups to earn a 6-2 lead to finish the opening period.

“We try to get inside either with the drive or the pass for high percentage shots,” said McMullen County head coach Shannon Taylor.

Annapolis started the second quarter with a 7-0 run before McMullen County scored the last 11 points of the quarter, capped by a baseline drive by Dustin Goodrum, for a 17-9 halftime lead. The Cowboys started the third quarter with a 10-0 run, capped by a three-pointer by Dustin Allen from the left wing, for a 27-9 edge.

“We did good defensively,” Taylor said.

But Annapolis started draining shots late in the third quarter. A three-pointer allowed them to come within 30-16 near the end of the third quarter. The Cowboys extended their lead to 34-16 early in the fourth quarter, but Annapolis nailed a pair of three-pointers as part of a 10-0 run to close the gap to 34-26 with a little more than two minutes left.

McMullen County slowed the game down to keep Annapolis from further narrowing the gap.

“It’s the third game in a row. They’re the toughest opponent,” Taylor said. He added that he had his team play games on three straight games to get in condition coming back from the Christmas break.

McClartney finished with nine points. Dustin Allen led the way with 14 points. Ridgeway had eight points.

On Jan. 4, the Cowboys held off a late rally by Castle Hills to win 46-43. McClartney scored 12 of his 14 points in the the first half to lead a 26-23 halftime advantage. Allen scored seven of his eight points in the third quarter as the Cowboys built a 42-31 lead by the end of the third quarter. Ridgeway had 11 points in the game.

McMullen County beat Woodsboro 61-22 on Jan. 3. The Cowboys led 16-5 after the first quarter and 27-10 at halftime. Goodrum scored 17 points, including 12 in the second half. Ridgeway had 11 points. Allen had 10 points.

The Cowboys start District 1A-32 play on Jan. 11 at Runge at 6:30 p.m. McMullen County hosts Bruni on Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

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